Important COVID-19 travel guidance
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
Safety and security
The political situation in Jordan is stable. However, protests do sometimes occur in Amman and other cities. The majority of such protests are peaceful but you should take sensible precautions, follow news reports and avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations.
In Amman, protests most often take place on Thursday evenings, near the Prime Ministry at 4th Circle, and on Fridays after midday prayers near the Husseini mosque in downtown Amman. You should take particular care if near these areas at these times. You should also take care when travelling outside Amman, especially at night, and be aware of the possibility of spontaneous demonstrations and road blockages occurring.
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria. Whilst levels of military activity in southern Syria near the border with Jordan have decreased, the situation in Syria continues to evolve, and security threats in the form of instability or terrorist activity could arise with little or no notice.
The FCDO advise against all travel to Syria. For more information, see our Syria travel advice.
The FCDO also advises against all travel to Iraq, including the area bordering Jordan. For more information, see our Iraq Travel Advice.
You should take particular care at all border areas and if crossing into any neighbouring country.
Jordanian army and police units patrol the entire border area with both Syria and Iraq. They have been known to engage vehicles and people in the border area and will continue to monitor traffic.
Terrorist groups are present in Syria and Iraq, including those like Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) who routinely use kidnapping as a tactic.
Landmines may be located near military installations and borders. Minefields are usually fenced off and marked with a skull and crossbones sign, but fences and signs may be in a poor state of repair.
Petra is one of the world’s most treasured UNESCO Heritage Sites and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. It has strict opening and closing hours which all visitors should adhere to. Being inside Petra outside of these hours is not permitted and could lead to arrest and prosecution. Ticket prices are displayed and anyone needing clarification should ask the tourist office staff before agreeing any additional charges.
Crime levels are generally low: most crime is limited to pick pocketing, occasional bag snatching and theft from cars. Be vigilant and keep your money, passport and valuables secure.
Whilst large numbers of foreigners enjoy visiting Amman and hiking in some of Jordan’s more remote areas, women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. On occasion this can escalate and in recent years there has been an increase in reports of cases of sexual assault. Female visitors and residents should take care when walking or travelling alone even during daylight hours. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK. See these tips for women travellers.
Jordanian police advise anyone who finds themselves stranded - even in daytime - to call the police on 911.
Disputes between feuding tribes, clans or families may develop without notice and sometimes involve violence and the use of firearms. You should follow news reports and, if caught in an incident, leave the area and follow any police instructions given.
Don’t accept lifts from strangers. If you have to use a taxi ask your hotel to recommend a reliable driver. Women shouldn’t ride in the front seat of a taxi, particularly when travelling alone.
You can drive in Jordan using an International Driving Permit. Make sure you have third party insurance. In Jordanian law a driver is always considered guilty if they hit a pedestrian. If you’re involved in such an incident, you could face imprisonment and be liable for the payment of hospital bills and other compensation.
In the rainy season (approx. November-March), the Government of Jordan sometimes issues flood alerts, particularly along the Jordan valley. These could impact on drivers and those hiking. You should be alert to potential advisories which can result in diversions and road closures. In the event of an alert affecting you, you should co-operate fully with the authorities.
According to the latest available World Health Organization data, Jordan ranks 48th in the world for the number of deaths per population as a result of road traffic accidents. There have been a number of fatalities recently on the Desert Highway. You should drive with care, especially at night, and avoid driving on unlit roads. Stray animals, broken-down vehicles and unmarked road works are common. If you have an accident, don’t leave the scene before the police have arrived and taken a statement. You can contact the police by calling 911.
The police carry out random security checks. Keep identification documents with you to present at these checkpoints. The police also strictly enforce the speed limit with fixed and hand-held speed traps. They issue on the spot fines of between 15 to 150 Jordanian Dinars.
Front seatbelts are required by law. Failure to wear one can result in a fine. All cars must carry a fire extinguisher and warning triangle. Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal.
Cars and coaches can become trapped by occasional heavy snow falls in winter and roads in mountain areas, including Petra and the surrounding area, can become blocked.
Roads may also occasionally be blocked by political protests and demonstrations. If you encounter such an incident, cooperate fully with the police and authorities.
Many organisations offer trips across Jordan to take advantage of the outdoor activities on offer. The quality of these tour operators varies greatly. You should ensure you are well prepared for any outdoor activities in Jordan with appropriate clothing and sufficient food and water for what can be extreme temperatures.
There are around 80 wadis (valleys) in Jordan. During the rainy season (November to March) there’s a risk of flash floods in these valleys. Before travelling to a wadi check the weather forecast and don’t travel to places where heavy rain is expected for at least one day afterwards. If you’re caught in a flash flood go to a high point and don’t attempt to cross the water. If you’re in a vehicle try to drive to a dry spot. Contact the Civil Defence on 911 if the situation continues.
If you’re considering diving or snorkelling in Aqaba, be aware that safety standards of diving operators can vary considerably. Never dive or snorkel unaccompanied. Where possible make bookings through your tour representative and make sure the operator is accredited with an internationally recognised scheme such as PADI.